The UK economy grew by 6.6% in July, but still remains far below pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The UK unemployment rate has also risen to its highest level for two years.
But although the economy has been deeply affected by Covid-19, it’s time for business leaders to move from survival mode to preparing for the new normal.
Speaking at a recent In-house Recruitment Live Virtual event, Nicolas Speeckaert, co-founder and director of skeeled says, “2020 has been a hugely challenging year so far however, it’s time for business leaders to look over the hill and start thinking about how they recover. While many companies have had recruitment freezes, part of their recovery will be ensuring they have the right talent to adapt to the new normal. Talent acquisition should be a key focus and businesses need people with the necessary skills to adjust to changes that occurred due to Covid-19.”
Nicolas highlights that Covid-19 has been transformational, not only changing how people work, with more people working at home, but changing how companies do business, with many embracing e-commerce as a result of the lockdown and these changes will affect the skills companies need.
He predicts, “We expect to see more of a focus on online skills, as well as soft skills such as communication and time management as people increasingly work remotely. The jobs market will be very busy with more people chasing vacancies, especially after the furlough scheme comes to an end in October. Whilst employers may be spoilt for choice, the reality is that HR staff may be overwhelmed with applications and find it challenging to sift through CVs to find the best talent.”
“Businesses will need to re-think their talent acquisition strategy to respond to the changing world and difficult economic conditions ahead. Having the right recruitment processes in place will be key to attracting the workforce they need to survive beyond Covid-19.”
Nicolas Speeckaert has the following five tips for employers:
Don’t delay, act now – Employers should be revaluating their talent acquisition strategy and making any necessary adjustments sooner rather than later. Recruiting talent could take longer with the expected wave of redundancies and more people chasing roles. Therefore, having the right staff in place by the end of the year means recruiting now.
Adapt your employee benefits package – Remote working was a growing trend in 2019, but in 2020 due to Covid-19, it exploded. Many people want to continue working flexibly so this should be part of the benefits package for those that want to attract the best people. Employers should also re-think their wellbeing benefits, especially how they support the mental wellbeing of their workforce.
Get buy in from the C-suite – To build a solid business going forward talent acquisition is going to be a core part of any business strategy. HR professionals must get the buy-in from CEOs and senior management to any changes in recruitment processes and strategy to ensure that have their support.
Embrace virtual recruitment – Many companies embraced virtual recruitment during lockdown and continue to do so. Talent acquisition technology can streamline and automate many recruitment processes especially during the time-consuming early stages. For CEOs keen to bolster staff numbers this year ‘virtual’ talent acquisition is likely to become the new norm for recruitment.
Consider adding AI to your recruitment toolbox – AI will become the must-have recruitment tool post Covid-19. skeeled’s software is powered by predictive AI technology. It can help companies publish job vacancies and screen and sift through CVs, as well as schedule in the first phone interviews and face-to-face interviews. This can save businesses time and money and means they won’t need extra staff to deal with large numbers of CVs.